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Santa Cruz BicyclesBronson
27.5+ R Mountain Bike


Item # SNZK165

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Item # SNZK165

Bronson 27.5+ R Complete Mountain Bike

The Bronson was first released back in a time when 27.5-inch wheels were a new uncertainty, and bike companies were still trying to figure out what combination of suspension travel and geometry made up a good all-mountain bike. The first generation Bronson was about as good as it got at the time, capable of tackling everywhere from lengthy rides in the mountains to enduro race courses and even blasting some laps at the local bike park. Santa Cruz has been improving upon the model ever since, making it a bit more aggressive and capable with each iteration.   Now in it's third generation, the Bronson 27.5+ R Complete Mountain Bike comes equipped with lower-link-driven VPP suspension that improves small-bump sensitivity and big-hit support, a longer, more aggressive geometry that improves stability and confidence on high speed trails, and increased frame clearance so you can run up to 2.8in tires. Despite these gravity-focused changes, the Bronson retains the impressive pedaling performance and all-around versatility that make it a solid choice for epic all-day rides on unfamiliar terrain.

One of the biggest changes to the third-gen Bronson lies in a longer, slacker geometry that pushes it deeper into the gravity end of the riding spectrum. However, this redesign doesn't significantly alter its all-around versatility, meaning it's still great for the rider that desires the monster truck plushness of a slack, long-travel rig while having fun on trail systems with big climbs and high-speed descents. To be specific, Santa Cruz lengthened the reach by approximately 15 millimeters per size for a more confident, comfortable feel at higher speeds, plus a one centimeter lower standover height for a better fit with shorter riders. The head tube angle drops from the previous generation's already slack 66 degrees to an even slacker 65.4 degrees in its highest setting, complete with a flip-chip that slackens it out even further to a bike park-friendly 65.1 degrees. These were numbers that you'd only see on a freeride or mini-DH bike just a few years ago, meaning you'll have tons of confidence bombing those technical descents littered with steep drop-offs and nasty rock sections.

Another significant change to the latest Bronson lies in a reconfigured VPP suspension platform. Instead of relying on upper-link driven design, the third generation Bronson enjoys the increased bump compliance and glued-to-the-trail traction you'll experience with a VPP suspension driven by a lower-link mounted shock that's inspired by the latest Nomad. This lower-link driven VPP suspension platform is something that's reserved exclusively for the Bronson, Nomad, and V10, seeing the need for increased bump compliance, better support, and higher levels of traction for all-mountain, freeride, and downhill disciplines. To best match the increased performance capabilities of this lower-link driven VPP, Santa Cruz spec'd a Super Deluxe shock for a more supple feel that tracks to the ground noticeably better and resists heating up on those scintillating descents over thousands of vertical feet.

The last major change implemented on the third-gen Bronson is the introduction of Santa Cruz's "new" plus-sized tire, which is simply adding a slightly larger 2.6-inch tire for all the benefits in traction, bump compliance, and support afforded by plus-sized rubber, but without the major downsides of running wider 2.8 and 3.0-inch tires. By redefining the usability of plus-sized tires, Santa Cruz offers levels of plow-anything confidence to the masses without the negative attributes of traditional plus-sized tires, namely being the added rotational weight on climbs, overly vague handling feel, and tendency to squirm while cornering and braking hard. If you'd like to run a true plus-sized tire, the newest version of the Bronson will gladly accept 2.8-inch tires with its geometry flip-chip accommodating this wider rubber.

This particular Bronson is offered with an aluminum frame for those aggressive riders seeking something that's a bit more economical, but without significantly altering its riding characteristics. The alloy frame is practically identical to carbon models in geometry and specs, meaning you'll reap the benefits of trickled-down technology in terms of dialed handling and high levels of overall strength. It's even backed by Santa Cruz's lifetime warranty, so you'll have added peace of mind while mobbing down rock gardens and dropping into aggressive terrain suited to a bike of this style.

  • Santa Cruz's highly capable all-mountain masterpiece
  • Aggressive geometry is slacker and longer than before
  • Flip-chip slackens the head tube angle from 65.4° to 65.1°
  • 6in of VPP travel tames steep, rocky descents and big hits
  • Lower-link driven shock provides better traction and support
  • 2.6-inch plus tires for plow-anything confidence
  • Alloy frame optimizes strength-to-weight while lowering price
  • SRAM NX Eagle offers an economical entry to the 1x12 drivetrain

California Proposition 65


Cancer and Reproductive Harm -

Tech Specs
Frame Material
Rear Shock
RockShox Super Deluxe Select
Rear Travel
RockShox Yari RC
Front Travel
Cane Creek 10 IS Integrated Headset
SRAM NX Eagle, 12-speed
Rear Derailleur
SRAM NX Eagle, 12-speed
Chainring Sizes
Crank Arm Length
[x-small] 165mm, [small] 170mm, [medium - x-large] 175mm
Bottom Bracket
Bottom Bracket Type
English threaded (BSA)
SRAM PG-1230 NX Eagle, 12-speed
Cassette Range
11 - 50t
SRAM NX Eagle, 12-speed
SRAM Guide T
Brake Type
hydraulic disc
Avid Centerline 180mm
Race Face Aeffect R
Santa Cruz Palmdale lock-on
Race Face Ride
WTB Silverado Race
Race Face Aeffect dropper
Seat Collar
[rims] WTB ST i35 TCS 2.0
[front] SRAM MTH 716, 32h, Torque Cap, [rear] SRAM MTH 746, 32h
Front Axle
15 x 110mm Boost
Rear Axle
12 x 148mm Boost
[front] Maxxis Minion DHF DC EXO TR, [rear] Maxxis Minion DHR II 3C EXO TR
Tire Size
27.5 x 2.6in
not included
Recommended Use
enduro, trail
Manufacturer Warranty
lifetime on frame

150mm Travel Fork // LOW


150mm Travel Fork // HIGH

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    What do you think about this product?


    >Rating: 5

    27.5's get it done

    I've used it several times

    Right from the start let's get this straight, I'm going to be comparing the Bronson to my Ibis HD4. These two 27.5's crush the dowhills and work really well in the turns. The main difference in my opinion is the rear linkage. The VPP linkage for the Bronson is nice and subtle over the small bumps, but I feel when climbing it simply runs into a ledge then decides if it wants to climb up and over. The DW link on the HD4 feels like it will climb over the edges better. If you are to ride both bikes down the road and pedal over a bunch of 2x4's the Bronson will feel a bit smoother if you like to stay seated in the saddle and just smash over it. Overall this is a great ride, that you can spend the day pedaling around just keep in mind that it's more suited for pointing it down the mountain rather than up it. Version Ridden: 2019 Carbon 27.5+ R Size Large Pros: Lifetime frame warranty Crushes the downhill Sweet colors Cons: While standing in the climb it feels like it sacks out the rear end Limited aftermarket shock options Pedal efficiency climbing square edges and rocks Rider Details: 5'9"32" inseam / 172 lbs